Mark had the MRI last Tuesday and found out Wednesday that there are NO tumors in his brain! Yahoo!! Wednesday Dr. Diego removed one of the tumors on his chest for biopsy to help determine the next treatment.
Today we met with Dr. Urba. He explained another option that may be available. There is a current trial which uses a virus injected into a tumor signaling to the immune system what to attack. Yervoy is then given to boost the immune system. It's a small study, but so far has shown 57% positive response in shrinking tumors, which is a high response rate for any treatment of metatastic melanoma. Side effects for the injection of the virus are minimul. Yervoy isn't as kind, but is different for every patient. Typical side effects are fatigue, diarrhea, itching and skin rash. We're studying more about the clinical trial and waiting for the results of the biopsy to determine if Ketruda would be a good option. It depends on the level of PDL1 on the surface of the tumor. We'd prefer not using Yervoy and Ketruda together as the level of toxicity is much higher. We hope to have a decision made this week so he can start the treatment soon after Christmas.
The tumor in his lower spine must be hitting a nerve as it is causing pain in his right hip (there is no tumor in that area). Pain relievers are currently enough to keep him going.
How grateful we are for Dr. Urba and all those at the Providence Research Center who have been so kind and concerned. They have truly blessed our lives. Thank you for your love and prayers!
Have a wonderful Christmas,
Late February of 2012 Mark was diagnosed with stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma Cancer. This is written for our family and friends who have so caringly expressed a desire to know of the current situation. We so appreciate the love and support that has been shown to us and we lovingly empathize with and pray for many of you that have had or are currently going through trials of your own. In love, hope and faith, Mark and Ane